The Veronica Mars Season 2 Dossier: Episodes 5-8

The toughest part of marathoning a network series is that so much of it is just the appetizer course. How long must I wait until the delicious creamy desserts that are the reveals, twists, closures, and cliffhangers?! It's cool though, appetizers can be pretty delicious too. Some of our planet's more advanced cultures have even figured out how to eat appetizers for every course. (Sort of like me with Any'tizers.) Yes, Episodes 5–8 of Veronica Mars Season 2 were basically the boneless buffalo wings of a serialized drama: delicious if not necessarily satisfying. The best compliment I can pay to this stretch of episodes is just how much better integrated the cases of the week have been with the over-arching plots. Season 1 seemed to mash these elements together sometimes clumsily, but this season cases of the week have organically arisen from the main plot or were alluded to in previous episodes. For an episodic serial-procedural hybrid, there's much more flow now, which I really enjoy. Do I enjoy it as much as Any'tizers? Girl, quit it.

Okay, let's lift this school bus out of the ocean!



Season 2, Episode 5: "Blast From the Past"


Case of the week: Newly minted series lead Jackie continued making a bad impression on us when she approached Veronica for help finding out whether or not her best friend had stolen her credit card. After Veronica tirelessly looked at credit card statements and arranged outlet shopping plans with the suspect, her focus turned to a cable access psychic that Jackie occasionally consulted with. That's when Veronica was invited on-air and humiliated with personal information that Jackie had fed the psychic because, OH YEAH, it was all a practical joke intended to take Veronica down a peg. Ugh, Jackie is the worst.

The plot thickens: This episode focused way more on Wallace than usual, picking up where last episode left off with the reappearance of his supposed father. After an understandably fraught confrontation with his mother we learned that the man was indeed Wallace's biological father, but he'd gotten a bit too close to the junkie lifestyle while undercover so she'd left him and instead married the man that Wallace came to believe was his father. Wallace understood at first (Alicia still took a lot of grief about it from both him and Keith), but when he was again confronted by his father while working at his job turning product labels backwards...

... He discovered that his biological father had indeed attempted to contact him all that time and hadn't abandoned them like Alicia insisted he had. Between that and a few flare-ups with Veronica, Wallace ended the episode by leaving Neptune to go hang with his father in Chicago and not respond to any of Veronica's emails.

Meanwhile Keith's race against Sheriff Lamb heated up when, at a local debate, Sheriff Lamb revealed that Keith had failed to give the deceased bus driver a DUI back in the day, somehow making him culpable in the deaths of a dozen students. In retribution, Veronica literally bugged Sheriff Lamb's office and overheard him extorting baseball star Terrence Cook, but at the last minute she opted not to broadcast it at the homecoming dance as she'd originally intended. In more hopeful news, Veronica happened upon a voicemail left by one of the dead students AS they were crashing, and it suggested that there was a small explosion prior to the accident. Proving once again that they are indeed related by blood, Veronica's dad opted not to use this discovery against Sheriff Lamb and instead just turned the voicemail over to him to help the investigation.

Don't I know you from somewhere?

Christine Estabrook played the shady psychic. Most recognizable as Martha Huber from Desperate Housewives (as well as from a dozen other shows), I'll always remember her as Marcy, the melodramatic, racist realtor from American Horror Story.

Episode verdict: I've never been completely bowled over by the Wallace storylines, but I appreciated that this episode introduced some pretty heavy family drama for him to deal with. It definitely made Alicia more interesting and gave some added depth to Wallace's friendship with Veronica. Unfortunately, Jackie is not only an awful person but also an awful character, and it's frustrating to have to care about her relationship with Wallace. Does she get more interesting at some point? I hope so! Right now she seems like a waste of space in the opening credits. Overall this was a good, if slightly unsatisfying episode. I think that's mostly to do with the fact that we're still early in the season so it's all just a bunch of loose ends at this point (even the case of the week ended up having no closure). Still, Veronica Mars is a much more confident, layered show than before and it's still really fun to watch.



Season 2, Episode 6: "Rat Saw God"


Case of the week: What would've counted as larger mythology-related plotline last season was instead a case of the week this season: Failed scapegoat Abel Koontz returned to town to ask Veronica to track down his missing daughter Amelia before he died. Veronica eventually did; unfortunately she'd been murdered! With the help of (notably not-in-prison) Kane Software head of security Clarence Wiedman, Veronica traced the crime to Amelia's Argentinian lover and Clarence vowed to basically go murder him. Because that's his main hobby I guess? Meanwhile Veronica lied to Abel Koontz on his deathbed, claiming that Amelia was trying to return from a super fun vacation but she'd be there soon.

The plot thickens: First off, Keith lost the Sheriff election by a super slim margin. Meanwhile a new witness showed up to offer new information about Logan's supposed stabbing of Felix. Then, in possibly related events, somebody burned down Logan's house and he had to move in with Duncan. But one of the bigger moments of the episode was the return of Aaron Echolls, who was transferred to the Neptune County Jail in order to, I guess, talk some sense into Logan? The surprising part was that he denied murdering Lilly Kane. While he admitted he had tried to murder Veronica and Keith (in the season finale) he maintained that Duncan was the one who'd been in an epileptic rage around the time of Lilly's murder.

Finally, Keith actually boarded the crashed school bus (which a slightly more helpful Sheriff Lamb had exhumed from its water grave) and discovered evidence of an explosion. So, just in case that wasn't clear enough already, a murderer was on the loose!

Don't I know you from somewhere?

Noted Veronica Mars superfan and general geek boss Joss Whedon played the manager of a car rental company that Amelia DeLongpre had used.

Playing his underling was then-America's Next Top Model contestant Kim Stolz! I remember I rooted for her during that season. And she wasn't terrible here! It still seems weird that UPN was shoehorning Top Model contestants into its critically acclaimed serialized drama, but for the most part they haven't stood out more than normal day-players. So far, at least.

Episode verdict: This episode was great, if way more grim than usual. Between Abel's offscreen cancer death to Amelia's icy resting place (that motel manager was NOT doing a very good job of maintaining that ice machine), there was a real whiff of death in this episode. But it also had its moments, like this part where Veronica staged an art gallery in her motel room just to prove to Keith that she wasn't up to anything:

Cool art gallery!

I'm super intrigued about the Aaron Echolls thing, if also slightly disturbed that the plotlines of Season 1 weren't as wrapped up as I'd hoped. It's weird having closure yanked out from under you, you know?



Season 2, Episode 7: "Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner"


Case of the week: After Duncan decided to go through comatose Meg's computer and find out exactly what Meg's sister didn't want their parents to find, he discovered that she'd been attempting to contact Child Protective Services to save an unnamed child she'd been babysitting. It wasn't long before Veronica was offering to babysit for half the town and she discovered a sick fact about Neptune: ALL PARENTS were abusing their children basically.

A particularly chilling scenario happened when Veronica went to the world's weirdest poolside sleepover at Gia Goodman's house and witnessed Woody Goodman and his wife behaving super strangely toward their younger son. But this was a red herring, as later Veronica and a turtleneck-clad Duncan infiltrated Meg's bedroom to discover that Meg had actually been referring to her own little sister and they went on to discover not only hundreds of journals with punishment-induced scribblings in them, but also a SECRET room behind the closet in which the girl was being kept!

After Veronica and Duncan were discovered, Meg's father had them arrested and in an absolutely chilling scene, Sheriff Lamb realized they were telling the truth, set them free, and took it upon himself to make sure the abuse would stop, thus continuing the subtle redemption of the world's worst sheriff.

The plot thickens: Logan also enlisted Veronica to help debunk the new "witness" in Felix's murder case. She discovered he was a pretty stand-up guy (a plastic surgeon who insisted that Veronica didn't need any work done). Meanwhile the Casablancas' lawyer informed Dick and Beaver that they'd get access to their trust funds at 21 but Kendall wouldn't be getting a dime; within hours she was attempting to gold-dig Logan, and then even Duncan. Also Keith learned from Woody Goodman that the "mayor" of Neptune was hoping to spin the '09er zip code off into its own township and make Keith the sheriff. And in one more nugget of intrigue, Duncan discovered a letter in Meg's room that he pocketed when Veronica wasn't looking.

Don't I know you from somewhere?

I'd neglected to point him out when he first appeared, but Meg's dad was played by the very recognizable character actor Geoff Pierson who also plays the Captain on Dexter, had a stint as the President on 24, and was also the poor man's Al Bundy on Unhappily Ever After. Congratulations on playing a jerk on EVERY show, Mr. Pierson!

Episode verdict: Another great episode, with its perfect blend of teenage awfulness (the slumber party), Neptune's seedy underbelly, and even a scene in which Veronica lip-synced dialogue to The Big Lebowski:

I mean, what's not to like? But really, the closing sequence in which Lamb arrested and then set free Veronica and Duncan was incredible. One of the more subtle and powerful moments I've seen on any TV show in a while. I like how this season has shaded in some of its broadly drawn characters, and in particular the flashes of goodness in Sheriff Lamb have been great. The child abuse angle was downright disturbing, but still felt accurate to this particular affluent beachside hellscape.



Season 2, Episode 8: "Ahoy, Mateys!"


Case of the week: In a case tangentially related to the ongoing bus crash plot, parents of one of the victims found themselves the victims of "pranks" involving the memory of their dead son. Bus trinkets left around the house, audio loops of his voice played through their car stereo. You know, typical pranks. Veronica looked into it only to discover that the kid had been apart of a secret Howard Stern-like pirate radio station and was possibly gay. Eventually she discovered that the kid's boyfriend (?) had been harassing the parents in retribution for their having sent their son to an anti-gay brainwashing camp, but then the parents had continued staging the harassment in order to win a lawsuit against the school district.

The plot thickens: Much of this week's plotine involved Logan's stabbing case, and how exactly the PCH gang was involved. First Veronica went to check up on the shady dealings of the plastic surgeon witness, which led to a frightening confrontation with a local family of Irish thugs who were clearly trying to frame Logan for some reason. Meanwhile the PCH gang kidnapped Logan at gunpoint and mentally tortured him to get him to 'fess up to Felix's murder. He didn't, of course, and ended the episode vowing revenge on Weevil and his posse. Meanwhile Duncan began having dreams that made clear he was possibly still in love with Meg and that Veronica was some kind of villain in his life. Uh-oh. The final shot had Duncan finally opening that letter he'd found in Meg's room only to gasp in disbelief. Cliffhanger!

Don't I know you from somewhere?

High School Musical's Lucas Grabeel played this '09er who was VERY mad at Weevil about not getting his cocaine.

Sons of Anarchy fans might recognize Taylor Sheridan here as Danny Boyd, friend of the Fighting Fitzpatricks and lucky beneficiary of some impromptu pool table plastic surgery.

Episode verdict: Well, obviously I'm going to comment on the gay twist. Better, Veronica Mars. Not exactly heartwarming that a gay person would feel righteous enough to emotionally torture grieving parents, but that kind of behavior is no more monstrous than typical straight characters' actions on this show. So, um, cool equality? But I really enjoyed the pool hall scene where Veronica almost got a new face tattoo. Once again Logan swooped in and saved her, continuing this season's mirroring of Logan's arc in Season 1 (awful to heroic). Yeah, this was a solid episode. Not exactly fun per se, but thrilling and kinda scuzzy. And what did that letter sayyyyy?? Okay I will keep watching.


QUESTIONS:

... Did you guys miss Wallace AT ALL when he was gone?

... Would you rather be locked in a closet metaphorically or literally?

... Did it bug you whenever Top Model contestants would show up?

... Am I crazy or is Sheriff Lamb becoming likeable?


Previously...
The Veronica Mars Season 1 Dossier: Episodes 1-8
The Veronica Mars Season 1 Dossier: Episodes 9-16
The Veronica Mars Season 1 Dossier: Episodes 17-22
The Veronica Mars Season 2 Dossier: Episodes 1-4

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That scene with Irish thugs was frightening. That moment hit me really hard.

- Don't miss Wallace all that much actually.
- Neither!
- I didn't even realize they were on the show. So, no.
- Definitely. And that's a good thing. Lots of grey characters.
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Hey Price!

I've just noticed that it's been nearly a month without a new review for this series, when you used to do them every week. Does that mean that you'll no longer review Veronica Mars? Please, tell me I'm wrong, because these recaps are really fun, I started re-watching the whole show again just because I love to read these...

BTW, I also find Wallace a totally disposable character, Weevil should totally be Veronica's wingman, or whatever you call it
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It's so fun to read these! I just finished watching all 3 seasons for the first time (1&2 on SoapNet and 3 on my newly acquired DVDs!), so it's all really fresh in my mind...also I've ended up completely obsessing over the show and am sort of just watching it over and over again. Must stop. Season 2 is about to take off with a bullet, that's for sure! I really enjoyed season 3 as well, which I wasn't expecting since the fan reviews tend to be mixed. It is a bummer that it ends pretty abruptly with so little wrapped up.

1. I'm with you- I like Wallace as Veronica's sidekick but really had no use for his few storylines and couldn't have cared less about his love life. Jackie? meh.

2. Literally. I've been a few metaphorical ones and they are no fun whatsoever.

3. Never watched and wouldn't have known.

4. Lamb....he's tricky. I love his snark and he and Keith/Veronica have some great witty back-and-forths, but he's a giant jackass and as far as I'm concerned never has any redemptive arc at all.
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I love the Wallace Veronica friendship. I really missed him when he left. Also I liked Jackie by the end.
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Jackie never gets any better she is always a waste of space in the opening credits. Worst Veronica Mars character ever!
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its been years but im enjoying these recaps, thanks!
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Love your recaps, Price! Now onto the questions...

1. I kinda missed Wallace. He's a pretty likable character in my opinion but he's not one of my favorite characters. But I watched how Veronica was a little bit struggling with his absence and that made me kinda miss him for her sake.

2. Don't know the answer to that one.

3. I don't watch America's Next Top Model so I couldn't tell the difference which extra/guest star was a contestant or not.

4. He becomes likable every once in a while but it's kind of like a "one step forward and three steps back" situation with him.



I love this show and say screw it, just make the movie already!!!
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1. Yeh I didn't really miss Wallace while he was away, but it kind of showed how friend-less Veronica is without him. I still liked Wallace as a character though, Jackie was a stupid mistake on his part, she's such a biatch.



2. LOL this ep was SO creepy, but i really liked how lamb stepped up, he's such a useless officer of the law usually.



3. Yeh I never knew who the top model contestants were so I'm going to have to say no.



4. I like Sheriff Lamb, Veronica and him have some great scenes!



Man I can't wait for you to get further along, season 2 is the best, so many more twists to come!
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-Sadly I did not. It truly is sad because I liked Wallace. He just never really got enough development to be anything more than Veronica's trusty sidekick and friend when she needed a favor.



-Metaphorically. I think we're all locked in closets metaphorically speaking in some way or another. Plus, I can get claustrophobic so..



-Sometimes. I'd think of that episode where they won the challenge and it was just sort of pathetic.



- Both? LOL No, just kidding. Sheriff Lamb would have these redeeming moments, but they left as suddenly as they came. I think that was his second best moment of redemption...one of my favorite Lamb moments to date.



Logan spent the series being the guy who saved Veronica. I always found it interesting... he was always her knight in shining armor...but not in that fairytale way. He was an anti-hero. Weevil had a similar effect...he and Veronica always kept owing each other.
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Re: Weevil, I didn't get him at first, like why was he a main character? But I'm glad the show keeps him walking the line between good guy and bad guy. He's kind of a wild card and I respect that.
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I think that was what his appeal was. It's like they have that saying "there is no honor among thieves" when in actuality there is. He was a complicated guy, because though he was the "bad boy", criminal and all that, he was also kind of moral. I found it interesting. Made me think of those old mafia guys who'd go on a killing spree taking out hits all week but went to church on Sunday and had dinner with their grandmother. You just kind of respected the guy.
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1) I too really liked Wallace, I really liked the fact that he stood by Veronica's side always, and helped her overcome a bit her trust issues....So yeah, I missed him.

2) I am kinda claustrophobic, so I prefer metaphorical closet. And the episode on the child abuse is one of the few of VM I have only seen once because I find it too disturbing!

3) Don't know any Top Model contestant so...didn't care..

4)I always liked sheriff Lamb, he has his moments, even if he remains a very bad person...

By the way, the better is yet to come...or something like that...The next episode ( I think ) has one of the most surprising twist of the whole series in my opinion...

I felt so bad for Veronica in her confrontation with the psychic...so sad...and I don't like Jackie at all...even if her character at the end made sense in some way, she is just annoying!
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Yeah that psychic thing was so loathsome on Jackie's part. And why on earth would the psychic agree to do that? I know she's probably a fraud, but that doesn't mean she'd willingly humiliate a teenage girl, right?
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Well I mean she did buy hundreds of dollars worth of candles from Jackie's credit card, so I guess blackmail?
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LoVe remains the only ship I support.

WHEN WILL THEY JUST MAE A DAMN MOVIE?
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I need that. YESTERDAY! C'mon get on it! Like Veronica Mars 10 years later. I'll take that dammit!
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Not. Soon. Enough.
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If they go on like this, in the movie Kristen Bell will play a mother...
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It's likely! She still doesn't seem to be aging, but that's no excuse to hold it off this long. Soon, I'm sure time will start saying 'A'ight Kristen, you're awesome, but let's be fair, you're not in your mid twenties any more.'
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I'll see what I can do for you CG ; )



Neverland is a fun place, and I'm short like tinkerbell. LOL
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Juice me, Blue! No, that sounds funny.

What I mean is, may I join your merry club of Neverlanders?
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She looked pretty mature in Veronica Mars... In these episodes I kept having to remind myself that she's playing a HIGH SCHOOL student. But you're right, she hasn't aged a day since then, so why not? I bet she could pull off college-aged.
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LOL! Kristen Bell, Bianca L. and *cough*myself*cough* have inadvertently stumbled upon the fountain of youth. It's so awesome you guys!
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How can you not love a bug that's made out of an ACTUAL bug? How awesome was that!



Never saw High School Musical, so I recognized Lucas Grabeel (in the re-watch) from Switched at Birth and Smallville.



1 - I remember when I first watched the show on UPN / CW wondering every week why Wallace was MIA for so long. So yeah, I missed him.



2 - If I were locked in a closet, I would break down the 3rd wall and smoke dope down in the basement with the neighbor's talking dog, Wilfred. :)



3 - I didn't watch ANTM, so I never recognized any of the models, thus wasn't bothered by them. They seemed like any other bit role player, which I guess is a credit to how they did or to the direction they received or to how small the part was.



4 - You so craaaaazay! Lamb had brief moments of clarity, but was still the biggest tool in the world.
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Yeah, I loved the bug encased in lucite, and also that quick moment where Keith Mars pocketed it and never said anything to Veronica about it. Like it's just another father-daughter dispute he'd rather just let slide. (LOL @ the Wilfred reference)
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-At the time, I forgot he left, so whoops on my part.

-I'm voting to disband closets, because apparently they've turned evil?

-The Top Model contestants didn't really bug me, but I always thought they were awkward and out of place

-No Sheriff Lamb does have likable moments, but he's still an ass at heart. And I'll never get over his whole making fun of Veronica for trying to report her rape, so yeah, total asshole.



You will never get closure, sorry. Just when you think it's all good, the series is canceled and life is over.

Jackie has her good moments and towards the very end of the season she'll get some backstory depth, but eh she wasn't worth the bitchiness.
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That's a really good point about how badly Veronica was treated during the date rape plotline. Not just by Lamb but ALL her friends also. I can't believe how much she's been able to look past sometimes.
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She was never able to look past that, actually, it certainly becomes an issue again in Season 3. Although she tends not to hold every person responsible for her rape (there were soooo many characters involved in the chain of events that lead to the rape) and focus her hatred towards a few.
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The guy who played the bus crash victim's boyfriend is also Bradford Anderson who plays Spinelli on General Hospital.
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I'm pretty uneducated on soaps, unfortunately. I only really notice soap actors when they cross over into prime time like Shelley Hennig did on Secret Circle.
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Glad I'm not the only one who noticed!
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I thought those ANTM were very distracting and not at all fit with the show. Than Logan rescue is one of my favorite Logan moments from the season, and that dead girl in the ice box this still freaks me out to this day whenever I am at a hotel! I also totally agree about the end of the child avuse episode where Lamb actually does the right thing for once!
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I wonder how many motel guests got ice from that machine before Veronica arrived?
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This show is just awesome. As you said, for the most part, these were filler episodes, yet they were still awesome. The storyline of Lamb/Veronica/Duncan about the abuse still haunts me and that moment stands out as a fantastic example of this show's depth. As for the stuff about Carlos, I agree that it is much better than it. was in the first season, but await thyself, there is9 at least one more episode highly relevant to those issues still ahead. Also, I hated Jackie from the moment she stepped onto the show until the moment she stepped off. She is the single worst thing about season 2.



-I really always loved Wallace. Everyone needs a best friend and he is a great one to Veronica (when he isn't mad at her and fleeing the city). Also, I know so very little about sports that the basketball thing never botheres me in the least.

-I feel as though I am the wrong person to be answering this question as I cannot recall having been or felt like I was locked in a closet either way. But because I like to give my opinion, I'll say metaphorically. Just because.

-Never watched "Top Model" and was not even aware of that aspect of the show until you mentioned it. So no. It does not bother me. Though I did think it was awesome that they gave Joss Whedon a scene.

-Sheriff Lamb is another character who has a pretty interesting character arc through the show. Not nearly as pronounced as Logan's, but then he's nowhere near as main of a character as Logan. The key thing to remember with Lamb is that we all have crap that we've gone through, and some much worse crap than others. So while Lamb will routinely redeem himself, the fact remains that he is a major jerk.
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Yeah, I agree that Wallace's best feature is his devotion to Veronica that never crosses the line into romance. But when he's on his own, I get kind of antsy. And oh boy do I not care about his romance with Jackie.
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1) Wallace's and Veronica's friendship was one of the sweetest and most honest friendships ever on TV, so even though I didn't miss him that much when he was gone, it was really great when he finally came back.

2) Ummm.... neither!!

3) It did bug me a little, but at least they weren't given important roles. Hey, at least one of them went down with the bus! And also, it made me quite jealous that one of them got to hang out with Joss and probably didn't appreciate it.

4) I've always liked Sheriff Lamb, even in his most jackassy moments. Some of the funniest dialogues happen between him and Veronica. He's on his path to redemption at this point.

P.S.: Jackie is totally the worst at this point, I hated her! But she does redeem herself later on, and she gets one sort-of-shocking storyline towards the end.

You will be shocked when you find out what was on the letter. Let me say that the next few episodes are really good, with 2x11 being one of the bests of the series by far, in my opinion.
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Ooh, thanks. Now I'm even more excited!
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- I missed Wallace when he was gone. I can understand why you don't care much for him, but over time he became part of the gang, and whenever one of the gang members go missing, nothing is ever completely alright. Just like when Cordelia left Sunnydale on Buffy. She was missed! Whu no like Wallance more, Price? ):



- Neither! That poor girl. Such a powerful episode.



- I never noticed because I never watched Top Model, haha!



- Ugh, Sheriff Lamb. Never will like him. He has some good moments, but I never really liked him.
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I really don't know why I'm not as attached to Wallace as I should be. I like when he helps out, but he kind of seems like an afterthought most of the time.
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